Stumbling on Sally Hepworth

Quite by accident, I found a book called The Secrets of Midwives earlier this year. It was one of a handful of Australian novels offered at a discount on iTunes when I was looking for something to read on the train.  I liked the sound of it; a story of 3 generations of women, all midwives. The characters had present-day problems that could only really be solved by reliving aspects of the past. I couldn’t put it down.

Sally Hepworth headshot- a seated white female wearing a patterned shirt. She has blonde hair and is smiling broadly and looking to the right.

Sally Hepworth.

I later learned that it was actually the debut novel of Sally Hepworth, an author from Melbourne. Naturally, I sought out her other books and read them both in quick succession. Because I enjoyed them so much, I got in touch with Sally for a chat.

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Many of us will be hitting the shops this week, clutching lists of stationery to be purchased, among other things. How would you feel about buying a few extras while you’re there? That’s exactly what I’m doing and I’m just gonna throw it out there- I would love it if you did too. It turns out that basic stationery is something many kids simply don’t have access to. There are so many barriers to a good education faced by children across Australia. We can actually help with that, thanks to Natalie Panzarino and her best mate, Lauren McCormack Sundstrom. Together, they’ve started Got A Pen? and Natalie kindly told me all about it!

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A little over a year ago, I spoke to my friend Amber* about what it was like to be a submissive in a Dom/sub relationship. The resulting interview, 7 Questions with a Submissive, has been searched for and read thousands of times now. This week, I’m following up with Master Tony, the Dom half of Amber’s relationship. He gives us an insight into life and relationships from a Dom perspective.

It’s important to remember that a true Dom/sub relationship is consensual and entered into freely.  It might not be the lifestyle for me, personally, but I have learned a lot about it from both Amber and Tony and I can see how important that consent is. What also surprised me was learning that it’s not all about pleasing the Dom. In fact, the Dom, even though they demand obedience, must be focused on the needs and enjoyment of the sub partner. Interesting!

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Some weeks, I struggle to read and watch the news.

It’s pretty heavy-going. Wars, tragedies, horrific acts of violence, abuse and so many people in need. I know that I can just turn it off and that in itself makes me very, very privileged. At the press of a button, I can bury my head in the sand. I can literally opt out of all the news I don’t want to hear to avoid the distress. It’s tempting; they do say that ignorance is bliss. I think it’s okay to take a little time out from things if you need to, but I know that it doesn’t actually help matters long-term. I want to be able to help but so many problems in the world leave me feeling powerless. And that is not a good feeling.

Being Able to Help.

When you find out that there is something you can help with, it gives you a little hope. And that’s exactly what I’ve found by coming into contact with Rochelle Courtenay. Words like “empowering” and “inspirational” are usually not in my vocabulary. I find that they are often over-used and wasted on people that aren’t worthy of them. In the case of Rochelle Courtenay, however, I have to make an exception because she is more than worthy. Here’s a woman who became aware of a problem and decided to do something about it. Not only did she do something about it, she’s made it easy for other people to get on board and help. Share the Dignity, the charity Rochelle has founded, allows us to help women in need. You can donate money, like any regular charity, but the point of difference with not-for-profit group Share the Dignity is that they also collect useful items. You can actually give someone exactly what they need.

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